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Manila International Auto Show 2016

This summer just got hotter and exciting as Worldbex Services International, opened once again the Manila Auto Show or more popularly known as MIAS. Running from April 7 to April 10, the organizers promised, and delivered an automotive extravaganza as car manufacturers displayed their latest vehicles.

This may be the best MIAS in its 12 year history. This years theme “Smart Mobility”, manufacturers now give us not only traditional vehicles, but state of the art technology in both transport and accessories. Believe me when I say, the whole 30,000 square meters of space was full to the brim.

Cutting the ceremonial ribbon were WSI’s bigwigs Joseph Ang, Levi Ang, Jill Aithnie Ane, Rene Ramos, Tessie Roque, MIAS co-presentor Alvin Uy, Ulysses Ang, and guest of honor MMDA General Manager Ms. Corazon Jimenes, representing MMDA Chair Emerson Carlos. Also present was AAP Prexy Mr. Gus Lagman.

The first day is usually Media Day, which means we got first dibs in seeing the manufacturers displays, and of course, the vehicles of various auto clubs, scale models courtesy of DCPH and other allied companies or services booth. Almost all were selling goodies at a great discount.

Highlights of the day were the launching of new cars from some manufacturers. Chevrolet sprung the crowd with a flash mob when they unveiled the new Chevy Sail , a brash compact sedan (made for young professionals and teenagers).

Ssang Yong bigwigs introduced the funky crossover SUV, the TIVOLI, and TATA virtually presented its whole automotive line including ten wheelers and tractor trailer trucks.

Other exhibitors pulled out the stops in their respective booths. High Tech was commonplace now. Gracious representatives answered every query and of course, elegant models complimented the vehicles on display. The outside area, however, would not be left out. Ford also had a display where you can test drive all the new cars and SUVs. And further out, a custom made off road track where various SUVs demonstrated their off-roading capabilities, much to the delight of the crowd.

Of course, MIAS wouldn’t be complete without the unsinkable Russ Swift and his daredevil stunts in his immortal Subaru Impreza! A minimal charge is required to see the man in action but it is definitely worth it. Seeing Russ doing donuts, drift in impossible spaces and basically just run the nuts out of the vehicle is a monument to his driving skills, not to mention the durability of the Impreza!!

Chevrolet won the coveted award for the Best Booth category. The American manufacturer bested other rivals in spite of its smaller display space at- 460sqm. (same as last year)This is the same space where the Chevy Sail was launched that morning. The celebrity endorsers had a lot of space while performing, with the media and onlookers enjoying the expansive view. The flash dancers, on the other hand, was an excellent surprise.

Chevrolet has managed to maximize its display area, starting with its humongous Logo that was visible from the entrance hallway. Second was the Heritage Wall, which showcased some of its historic automobiles and dedicated a space explaining the history of the Chevy Bowtie logo. Next was the Chevy lounge, where the perfect combination of coffee and wifi signal was offered.

The car display was simple but effective .It was not hard to navigate between the cars. People can inspect and touch the cars. A nice touch was the classy looking models or booth ambassadors. They were not the usual skin baring models, but elegantly dressed young women, who had that corporate look. A welcome sight, indeed.

This year’s MIAS showcased the future of the automotive industry. From smart cars to trucks, driving has never been so easy. Although some may still scoff at technology, claiming it’ll somehow take over their life, the reality is that drive technology is here to stay. If these developments mean safer motoring for all drivers and passengers, then this is a worthy improvement of the industry.


Words by Earl Manalansan, Photos by Kit Pilla and Neil Pagulayan